MAS965: Social Visualization
Prof. Judith Donath
Assignment 5 - Large-scale persistent conversations
Oct 18, 2004

Francis Lam

Sketch #1 - Usenet Sociogram

In the first sketch, I try to depict the fine art group with a series of sociograms showing the relationships and patterns of all the discussants. Round glyphs are used to represent people and lines represent the direction and structure of the message posted to a thread.

By switching the focus of the thread, all the participants will be gathered under the initiator (denoted by a red circle) vertically showing the frequency and life of the topic.

User can also focus on one particular poster or initiator to magnify the activity he/she undertakes throughout the whole group.

Sketch #2 - Usenet Skyscraper

Here in the second sketch, I use skyscraper as a metaphor for visualizing persistent large-scale conversation. Each building represents a thread and the whole city symbolizes an entire group. The density, the height and the form of the buildings reveal different patterns and structures of a Usenet group.

Click on the image for explanatory notes

Different buildings convey different conversational meanings.

Click on the image for explanatory notes

When focusing on a message interactively, all the messages posted by the same author can be highlighted with the same color; thus, the participation of individual poster (builder) can be depicted.